Reflections on Fall Break during Spring Break

I just arrived back at home in New York City after a brief bus ride from Philly, a doable trip of under four hours in total. It’s the night before spring break begins and I was able to come back home a day early because of my ideal Friday schedule – no classes 🙂

As I put down my backpack and joined my family at the dinner table tonight, the relaxation started to hit me and I felt like my vacation was truly beginning. And it was right on time; after seven intense weeks of Swarthmore classes, I need nothing more than to take a week and see my friends, find my center, and enjoy the time off campus.

The spring semester would not be manageable without this break – I feel confident in speaking for myself and the rest of the student body when I make that statement. And given that, I am taking the time to appreciate one of Swarthmore’s greatest attributes: fall break.

Fall break occurs during the middle of the fall semester, and – importantly – it is of equal length to spring break. Students at Swarthmore, unlike most schools, get to a week off to see their home friends, go back to their families, go on a trip with friends from school, or whatever else they want to do to relax and spend quality time in the middle of the semester. I simply don’t know how I would manage the fall semester without it.

Last October, I spent the week off with my friends in Montreal, which we drove to in under a day after classes ended on Friday. That we were able to get to another country, specifically to a region with a different main language, in under a day from Swarthmore, doesn’t cease to amaze me. While in Montreal, I visited a friend who studied there, getting the chance to witness the interesting collision of worlds between my Swarthmore and high school friends.

That week was one of the best I can remember, with sight seeing, partying, enjoying the world famous cuisine, and just being in a new setting after more than a month of studies in the fall semester. I came back to school after that pleasant vacation refreshed and ready to finish out the second half of the semester.

So as I enjoy my family and my friends this spring break, I take the time to remember that I had the same opportunity earlier in the year, thanks to Swarthmore. I could never take fall break for granted.